Newmarket Handicap Tips & Preview 2024

Flemington Preview & Best Bets


Looking for Newmarket Handicap tips and best bets? We dissect times and form to find the winner of the 2024 Newmarket Handicap at Flemington.


The multiple Group 1 winning New Zealand mare, Imperatriz, is the $2.70 favourite with Picklebet after the barrier draw ahead of Buenos Noches, who is at $5, while Magic Time is at $7.50. Espiona is an unlikely starter but remains in the market at $8. 

There are 14 contenders in the time-honoured Group 1 and the three-year-old, Cylinder, is at $13 alongside Bella Nipotina, while Sghirripa is at $14. Benedetta has attracted early support and is in from $21 to $16, while Ruthless Dame is at $19. Rey Magnerio, Skew Wiff andMaster Fay are all $41, while The Astrologist and It’sourtime are the genuine roughies at the $71 quote. 


Four runners come out of the Lightning Stakes (1000m) that was run at Flemington on February 17. Imperatriz jumped as a $1.60 favourite that day and settled handy before getting the upper hand on Private Eye, who is not in the Newmarket. Espiona was 3rd in that race and accepted for this race but is heading to the Canterbury Stakes (1300m) in Sydney.  

Bella Nipotina was a one-length 4th behind Imperatriz in the Lightning and is 2kg better at the weights but the downside is that she has never won in nine attempts at Flemington. Cylinder was 6th, while The Astrologist was 7th. 

I am not convinced about Cylinder but the youngster is a bit untapped and did produce a sound effort in The Everest last year when 5th, beaten just over a length. The Astrologist will be better over the 1200m but does look outclassed. 

Imperatriz went 11.2 lengths faster than standard benchmark in the Lightning. That was on the back of a slow early tempo and the race turned into a sit-sprint. Her personal best came when going 14.2 lengths faster when claiming the Moir Stakes (1000m) in slick time last year. 

Interestingly, Benedetta produced the exact same figure (-14.6) when running on for 4th in the Oakleigh Plate (1100m). She is one of four contenders to come out of the Caulfield Group 1. The others are Sghirripa (7th), Rey Magnerio (9th) and Skew Wiff (13th). Sghrippa produced the fastest last 200m and went 13.8 lengths faster than standard when claiming the Standish Handicap (1200m) at the track and trip earlier this year. 

Other key contenders in the Newmarket Handicap are Magic Time and Buenos Noches. Magic Time is a lightly raced mare from the Grahame Begg stable and is resuming after claiming the Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) last spring. She is three from three over the 1200m and draws the grandstand side. 

Buenos Noches was a tad disappointing when failing to reel in King Of Sparta at Randwick when resuming over the 1200m but was found to have pulled up slightly lame in the aftermath. He has form around Imperatriz, finishing runner-up behind the star Kiwi in the VRC Champions Sprint (1200m) last spring and is 4.5kg better at the weight for that performance. 

Master Fay represents a bit of X-factor and is unbeaten in three starts. The six-year-old has had an injury interrupted career and is worth a bit of thought at a price. He comes over from New Zealand and his two recent wins came off a three-year break, having previously had his only other start in Hong Kong. 


Keen to have something each-way on Benedetta. The Jason Warren-trained mare comes out of a strongly run Oakleigh Plate (1100m) and was working into that race before being held up at a vital stage. She closed off strongly and does come in with the the best last start benchmark figure of any runner. She was a second up winner at Caulfield in the spring before going 14 lengths faster than standard when 3rd in the Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at the track and trip. With just 52kg on her back and a 5.5kg advantage over Imperatriz, the Jason Warren-trained galloper draws ideally and will be closing off strongly late.